Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 14: Jelly

We've had a crazy busy weekend here, and we haven't even left our house, except for a quick library trip yesterday morning.  This weekend, I have made pumpkin pie, cheesy potatoes, ham, whipped cream, biscuits, and jelly.

Oh, and last night I made "mystery dinner".  Funny story.  The plan for Saturday night's dinner was to make biscuits and gravy.  I made the biscuits (recipe to come in a few days), and I started to work on the gravy.  I opened the package of defrosted sausage and realized it was spicy Italian sausage!  That wouldn't work for biscuits and gravy!  So I improvised, and made biscuit pizza.  I browned the sausage and added almost an entire can of crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and garlic and onion powder.  I added it to a baking dish, covered it in cheese, and added the biscuits on top (at this time, the biscuits had been cooking for about 5 minutes, so they were still pretty doughy).  I cooked it for about 15 minutes until the biscuits were done, and it tasted pretty good!  But . . . biscuits and gravy would have been better.

Today I'm going to share the way we make jelly.  This recipe will yield three jars of jelly, which lasts our family around a month and a half or two months.  It can be a bit of an expense to get it started if you don't already have the jars, but I considered that an investment because we've reused them over and over since we've purchased them. 


1 and 1/2 container of strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 package pectin
3/4 cup of water

That's it!  Start by cutting up the strawberries.

Then use a potato masher to mash them all up.

Six-year-old in Iron Man mask is optional.  Also, don't depend on the six-year-old in the Iron Man mask to stick with this.  Approximately 4 seconds after I took this picture, he scampered away.  Measure out 2 and 1/2 cups of the mixture into another bowl.  I actually had to mash up a few more strawberries to get to 2 and 1/2 cups.  It's better to have to mash more than mashing too many, right?  Add the sugar, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.  This will be the consistency after the sugar as been incorporated:

It will look a little wet, but the pectin will make it set.  Speaking of the pectin, add it to the water in a small sauce pan on the stove.  Stir constantly until it's a rolling boil, and allow it to boil for one entire minute, then add the pectine to the strawberry mixture and stir constantly for three minutes.

Then using a funnel, add to the jelly to the full line of the ball jars (I use a ladle - about two ladles fills up the jar).

That funnel is awesome.  I found it in the same place I bought my ball jars.  It fits perfectly!  This recipe will fill three jars.  Once the jars are filled, screw on the lid and let it sit for 24 hours.

However, for best results, I recommend hiding them in some way from your husband and children, like under a towel!

It takes 24 hours for this to turn into jelly.  Right now it's just soupy sugary strawberry juice.  Once the 24 hours is up, you can freeze or refrigerate the jelly, or give it away to a friend!  Come back later for homemade pumpkin pie, biscuits, and some more crafts.  And to hear me talk about the St. Louis Cardinals' post season some more. 

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